In the annals of Michael Jordan’s sneaker history, the Air Jordan II has always gotten a bum rap. Yeah, Jordan didn’t necessarily love the silhouette and Nike needed a revolutionary first impression from Tinker Hatfield to keep the rising Chicago Bulls star from bouncing to another brand. But the II’s legacy also suffered through outside factors.
First, Jordan had no truly memorable moments in them (other than the less heralded of his two Slam Dunk Contest wins), and second, the sneaker immediately preceding it was the Air Jordan I (classic) while the one that came right after was the Air Jordan III (classic). When you’re the middle child, drawing attention is often difficult.
During the ‘80s, making waves was all Jordan and Nike did. The latest retro colorway for the Air Jordan II has actually been dubbed “Radio Raheem,” and it incorporates a color scheme taken directly from a “Bed-Stuy Do Or Die” T-shirt worn by the character Radio Raheem in the 1989 flick, Do the Right Thing. That movie’s director just so happened to be Spike Lee, who just so happened to star in famous commercials with His Airness. See how these things work? (The movie also included one of the most iconic sneaker scenes in cinema history.)
The latest Game Plan collection from Champs Sports centers on the Radio Raheem inspiration, featuring multiple lifestyle silhouettes in the memorable colorway as well as Jordan T-shirts to match the fit.
This one is coming at a perfect time, too. In 2016, wouldn’t you think the Jordan II would be on the rise? It was the first Nike shoe to not feature any Swoosh branding on the upper. A faux-lizard skin upper and production in Italy also gave it an air of luxury. And at the time it was even overpriced, creating the holy trinity of characteristics that seem to resonate with current hypebeasts.
Even if everyone is busy getting ready for the return of the White/Cement “Nike Air” Air Jordan IV, this collection is too nice to pass up.
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The Jordan II is the standout but both the Jordan I and Eclipse represent crossover silhouettes for people of all styles. The Jordan I is a timeless classic that goes with anything, and the Eclipse is a more recent example of Jordan creating something for the streets.
Even during cold months, you need some T-shirts in your rotation. If they match what’s on your feet, even better. In this collection, there are options in three different colors, giving you the opportunity to choose which one fits you.
Jordan Jumpman Camo Tee (Blue) – $40
Jordan Retro II Wing It T-Shirt – $34.99
Jordan Flight Grid Tee (White) – $30